Pharma's new exec takes flight for quick transportation
Rick Munschauer is a neurologist who also worked in academia and other roles with pharmacy companies before becoming vice president and chief medical officer of Northbrook-based Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC.
Like other exectuives, he traveled a lot for his work. It wasn't surprising that he would fly -- as his own pilot.
"I was one of those kids who loved to peer through the fence at airports and watch the planes take off," said Munschauer, 65.
When Munschauer was in his 30s, he started flying lessons and earned his pilots license. It became a passion. He soon used this mode of transportation whenever possible. He flies small engine planes, such as a Cessna, as well as helicopters.
Munschauer had a 25-year career as a Smith Professor and chairman of the neurology department at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has board certifications in neurology, internal medicine and critical care.
He left academia to work in the corporate world, including as vice president and medical affairs, neurology and immunology at EMD Serono Inc., and as chief medical adviser, global head of medical affairs and as vice president of US Medical Affairs at Biogen.
He now has been at Marathon Pharmaceuticals for about a month, where he oversees clinical development, medical and scientific affairs. The company specializes in research and treatments for rare diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
He and his wife, Penny, and two daughters will be moving from Boston to the Northbrook area soon, he said.
So with all that involvement with medical firms, Munschauer enjoyed using his skills as a pilot to get from one project to another.
"There's a joy to it that pilots experience when they look at this wonderful machine and master it," he said.
Going up into the air, looking down at the scenery and experiencing an intense feeling of being one with the environment was something that will always remain with him.
"When you go up and then look down and feel just how insignificant we all are and how glorious the planet is, that's an incredible feeling," he said.
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